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Spanish Central

Centro para Español

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Spain's people and culture.

Spain is a rich mixture of millenary traditions and state-of-the-art technology.  Spaniards are a blend of many peoples, cultures and traditions.   As a result, coming up with a definition of Spanish people, character and culture is an impossible task.  This is exacerbated by the fiercely independent and regionally loyal streak that most Spaniards exhibit.  These regional divisions create some local differences in tradition and character.

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Nevertheless, there are many characteristics that seem to be common to most Spaniards.  They are an extremely hospitable and friendly people who greatly enjoy spending time with family and friends around a table sharing animated conversations.  They are very open and hardly know a stranger.  Their conversations are frequently quite animated.  What might seem as a yelling

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match to many people from other parts of the world, in Spain is actually a frank, fun exchange of ideas.  Spaniards tend to be very opinionated and feel that opinions can be harmful if not shared.  Conversations are even better if they take place around a table sharing a meal and some of Spain’s world-renowned wine.

 

They are a passionate people who enjoy and fiercely defend old traditions that ignite excitement and bewilderment in folks from other places.  Such are the cases of several bull runs (the most famous one in Pamplona), the “tomatina” en Buñol (a gathering of about 60,000 [most are now tourists] in honor of the Virgin Mary and St. Louis in which people throw tomatoes at one another until all are covered with tomato juice [great for the skin, but wear your older clothes - men aren’t supposed to wear shirts and women are supposed to wear white]), “Castellers” (human towers that are six, seven, or eight stages tall.  People get seriously hurt when something goes wrong and they tumble down), the flower festival in Sitges and other lesser known events and festivals.

 

The honest and frank Spanish character provides rich opportunities for the development of life-enriching and long-lasting friendships.